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New UK support announced for ethnic minority entrepreneurs

By Monder Ram + Sara Carter - Posted on 31 July 2014

Professors Monder Ram and Sara Carter discuss the economic contributions made by entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities in the UK, and announce the creation of a new Council to encourage this activity.

Entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities contribute significant amounts to the economy and growth. Their dynamism and willingness to see opportunity where others only see risk helps to generate the jobs and growth that keep our communities moving forward.

So it’s vital that we keep finding ways to develop productive relationships between banks, policy-makers and entrepreneurs from all communities.

That’s why we are pleased to announce the formal launch of the national Diversity and Inclusion Business Council. The Council will be hosted by the British Banking Association (BBA) and bring together leading entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities, academics and the banking sector to promote access to finance for ethnic minority and women-owned businesses.

As co-Chairs of the Council, we have spent years researching entrepreneurship and business growth including our recent work with the National Enterprise Research Centre. We hope to use our deep understanding of enterprise research and policy to bring much needed facts to bear on the issues women and ethnic minority business-owners face.

We won’t be doing this alone. The Council offers minority and women entrepreneurs the opportunity to contribute directly to the thinking of everyone involved. This will ensure their grassroots perspective and insight is always fed into our wider policy activity.

And there is more to the Council than just policy. We are keen to reach as many business owners as possible, particularly in communities often regarded as “hard to reach”.

Council members already speak to a range of entrepreneurial networks and are committed to ensuring that information is shared with these groups. But placing the businesses at the forefront of our work will enable those on the front-line to use the Council as a platform to influence the debate, communicate their experiences and co-ordinate their activities.

So the stage is set. We look forward to working with the BBA, our colleagues at the Council and all our entrepreneurs to instil an even more inclusive and participatory approach to the way banking services and policies are developed and implemented.

Do you feel there’s enough support for entrepreneurs in Scotland through bodies like the Diversion and Inclusion Business Council, or do you think there should be more made available? Let us know in the comments below.

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